Monday, April 14, 2014

Orange-Glazed Bunny Buns

                

                   Easter is almost here! Do you have plans? if so, what are they? Do you eat a large meal or something small? brunch or dinner? This year I have decided to take it easy. For one, I couldn't find a ham that was worth the price and for two, I decided that by keeping it simple it gave me time to enjoy everything as well. So we are doing a brunch type deal. I'm baking various rolls and breads this week, I'll be making my Sonoma Chicken Salad,deviled eggs and I put a package aside of peanut butter eggs that I picked up during my trip back home.

These bunny buns are also on the menu. They taste just like a baked donut and can't tell you how much that makes me happy. The dough is mixed with orange juice and zest but I've already decided a maple version is in order!
                     
              
                The dough is very easy to work with and they come out as cute as can be. You twist the dough and add a tail and it resembles the back of a bunny..sounds easy right? well mine kinda got big..like I had giant bunny booties..which is just fine in my book because big bum bunnies just means a better bun in my opinion. Then I discovered that if you don't firmly place the tails inside the bottom area, they will in fact pop off during baking and then look like big bunny droppings. If you don't want to take the time to shape the dough into bunnies, you can make twists if you like. The dough is really easy when it comes to switching out the shapes.

Orange Glazed Bunny Buns

2 pkgs Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Warm Water
1 cup Warm Milk
1/2 cup Shortening..I used Butter
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Orange Juice
2 TBS Orange Zest
1 tsp. Salt
5-5-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour

Glaze:
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Orange Juice..plus more to achieve the consistency you want..You can make it thick to spread on or slightly thinner like I did to resemble a glazed donut.

In a large bowl,dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk,shortening (or butter),eggs,sugar,orange juice,orange zest,salt, and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth with a wooden spoon. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic,about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl,turning once to coat the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size,about one hour.

Punch dough down,turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 13 pieces. Shape 12 pieces into 12 inch ropes. Fold each in half;twist top half of the open end twice to form ears. Place 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or greased with nonstick spray. Shape remaining dough into 12 balls. Place one on the loop end of each roll to form a tail;slightly open the loop part if you can and firmly place the ball inside the loop ( it will help to keep it in place and not fall off during the baking process).
         


              You can tell in this photo that I needed to place the balls more inside the loop area firmly..most of these fell off during baking. The buns are ginormous once they come out and they were close to touching after they were done baking..give them plenty of room!

Cover the buns and allow to rise until doubled,about 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 375 or 190. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. 

In a small bowl,combine glaze ingredients and mix until smooth..adding in more juice if needed. Spread or drizzle onto the bunnies.

Yield: 12 Bunnies
Source: Taste of Home